The Garden Route, known as South Africa’s Eden, stretches from Mossel Bay in the West to Tsitsikamma in Easetern Cape, although here we have also included the arid but beautiful Klein Karoo, just in-land. It includes sophisticated coastal resorts, with excellent shopping, accommodation and eating facilities such as Knysna, famous for its oysters and wonderful lagoon and Plettenberg Bay with some good beaches.
A host of activities such as hiking trails through pristine forests and boating on lakes and lagoons can be enjoyed along the breathtaking coastline backed by Wilderness and Tsitsikamma National Parks. Swimming is in the warmer Indian Ocean although the more tranquil lagoons, such as those found at Nature’s Valley, are best for children. Dolphins are resident in the waters year round, whilst Whales follow the coast on their annual migration between August and November. Plettenberg Bay offers boat trips for closer sightings.
A trip on the Outeniqua Choo Tjoe, a narrow-guage train which steams over bridges and through plantations between George and Mossel Bay, is a fun day trip (we hope the link between George and Knysna will be restored soon). Those looking for something more adventurous can try a Tree Canopy Tour, or even the highest bungy jump in Africa, off the Bloukrans Bridge (please note age restrictions apply)!
Excellent wildlife sanctuaries also enable visitors to get close to South Africa’s terrestrial wildlife, such as Knysna Elephant Park and The Elephant Sanctuary where visitors can learn more about the residents. Monkeyland near Plettenberg Bay is the worlds first free roaming multi-specie primate sanctuary whilst Birds of Eden close by, is a free flight bird sanctuary encompassing 2 cubic hectares of forest. At the foot of the Swarterberg Mountains in the Klein Karoo, Oudtshoorn provides a good base for visiting the Cango Wildlife Ranch and the nearby Ostrich Farms where you take an unusual ride!
There are also world-class Golf courses such as those at the Fancourt Hotel.
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